The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

THE BOAR'S HEAD TAVERN, EASTCHEAP.

A SHAKSPERIAN RESEARCH.

"A tavern is the rendezvous, the exchange, the staple of good fellows. I have heard my great-grandfather tell, how his great-great-grandfather should say, that it was an old proverb when his great-grandfather was a child, that 'it was a good wind that blew a man to the wine.'"

MOTHER BOMBIE.

IT is a pious custom, in some Catholic countries, to honor the memory of saints by votive lights burnt before their pictures. The popularity of a saint, therefore, may be known by the number of these offerings. One, perhaps, is left to moulder in the darkness of his little chapel: another may have a solitary lamp to throw its blinking rays athwart his effigy; while the whole blaze of adoration is lavished at the shrine of some beatified father of renown. The wealthy devotee brings his huge luminary of wax; the eager zealot, his sevenbranched candlestick; and even the mendicant pilgrim is by no means satisfied that sufficient light is thrown upon the deceased, unless he hangs up his little lamp of smoking oil. The consequence is, in the eagerness to enlighten, they are often apt to obscure; and I have occasionally seen an unlucky saint almost smoked out of countenance by the officiousness of his followers.

In like manner has it fared with the immortal Shakspeare. Every writer considers it his bounden duty, to light up some portion of his character or works, and to rescue some merit from oblivion. The commentator, opulent in words, produces

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The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Advertisement to the First American Edition 5
  • Advertisement to the First English Edition 6
  • Contents 7
  • The Author's Account of Himself 9
  • The Voyage 13
  • Roscoe 20
  • The Wife 27
  • Rip Van Winkle 37
  • English Writers on America 55
  • Rural Life in England 65
  • The Broken Heart 73
  • The Art of Book-Making 79
  • A Royal Poet 87
  • The Country Church 102
  • The Widow and Her Son 108
  • The Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap 116
  • The Mutability of Literature 128
  • Royal Funerals 140
  • The Inn Kitchen 152
  • The Spectre Bridegroom 155
  • Westminster Abbey 172
  • Christmas 184
  • The Stage-Coach 190
  • Christmas Eve 197
  • Christmas Day 209
  • The Christmas Dinner 223
  • Little Britain 239
  • Stratford-On-Avon 255
  • Traits of Indian Character 275
  • Philip of Pokanoket 287
  • John Bull 305
  • The Pride of the Village 317
  • The Angler 327
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 337
  • Postscript, Found in the Handwriting of Mr. Knickerbocker 370
  • L'Envoy 372
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